Posts Tagged ‘relationships’

The secret to taking the stress out of moving

My wife and I recently decided to move. Of course, when I say that, I mean that my wife decided we would move.  As her husband, she did allow me some say in the matter. I had the option of coming along or staying behind in an empty house soon to be occupied by complete strangers.

I considered the pros and cons with manly logic, and in the end concluded that following my wife’s lead was probably the better option. Besides, that way I got to keep the giant flat screen TV.

The process of moving can be stressful. Just thinking about the endless list of tasks can feel overwhelming. If you’re planning to move any time soon, follow my advice and take the stress out of your move.

Step One: CHANGE YOUR MIND ABOUT MOVING. Seriously, what’s so bad about your current place anyway? Oh, sure, so your neighbors’ 17 pit bulls can get a bit annoying when they all bark at the top of their lungs every time a car drives by. Hello! – ear plugs?! But if you don’t want to heed my advice about not moving, I understand. My wife ignored it, too.  Read More…


  • I love step 4. hire movers... and the photo of the moving truck smashed into the house. great. How can we …
    Janice Strong
  • Published On Nov. 19, 2014 by TEJ
  • Lessons in bonding

    Emailing my daughter - GirlRecently my college-age daughter Rachel emailed me, asking for help with a problem. Such an event – being rarer than a sighting of Halley’s Comet – calls for all-hands-on-deck-full-throttle parental engagement.  “I’m there for you, Rachel.”

    Thus began an email exchange that I am proud to say profoundly impacted my daughter and our relationship. Her gratitude for my sage advice is evidenced in her words that, well, she couldn’t even put into words how helpful I was.

    Rachel:  Hey, Dad. Wanted to ask you something. My boyfriend Brad and me had a fight. I saw him with my best friend Brianna. They were holding hands. He says she’s just a friend, but I think he’s lying. Should I confront him?

    Me: Thanks for your email, Rachel. I am happy to help. Frankly, this is a common problem for many young people. In fact, your mom often struggled with similar issues when she was your age.

    Here are my suggestions. First, never start a sentence with a verb unless it’s a command. When you write “Wanted to ask you something”, the reader is left wondering: Who wanted to ask me something? My daughter? My boss? A strange man in a tall hat? You never want to leave your reader guessing.

    Also it’s not “Brad and me had a fight.” It’s “Brad and I.”  Me is the objective form of the first person pronoun. In this context, however, you need the subjective form.

    Rachel: Whatever, Dad. I don’t think you understand. I think Brad is cheating on me. Last nite, I texted him. No reply. No idea what he’s up 2. What should I do? Read More…


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  • Published On Nov. 13, 2014 by TEJ
  • Forgotten wedding vows – a wife’s rebuttal

    [Note from the staff at VFTB: Last week Tim Jones wrote a piece called “Wedding vows I don’t remember making.”  This week, Tim’s wife Michele has requested equal time for a rebuttal. Tim is confident his wife’s piece was written with as much love and sensitivity as Tim displayed in his post.]

    wedding vows - rebuttal  - Tim and MicheleI read my husband Tim Jones’ post last week titled Wedding vows I don’t remember making. I love my husband very much, and when I say “love” I mean, I put up with him. Can I be honest? Being married to a humor writer is no picnic. It’s almost like living with an eleven year-old, except that I don’t want to belittle the maturity of any eleven year-olds out there.

    I have so much to be thankful for, being married to you, my husband / man-child, these past 26 years. I want to thank you for:

    … your never-ending concern that I might get over-heated on a winter’s night from having too many blankets covering me and your thoughtful habit of yanking all those blankets to your side of the bed in your “crocodile death roll” maneuver in your sleep.

    … your willingness to educate me about defensive pass interference in football. Thank you for being so flexible about our television viewing options each evening too. You’re always so willing to let me choose, so long as it’s ESPN 1, ESPN 2, ESPN Classic, or whatever channel broadcasts the Lingerie Football League.

    Read More…


    • I guess this means you won't be coming to the workshop on the dropped third strike rule?
      Rey Carr
  • Published On Feb. 19, 2014 by TEJ
  • Wedding vows I don’t remember making

    wedding vows - wedding dayIt’s Valentine’s Day – a day each year when millions of us husbands take time to show our wives just how much they mean to us, before we go back to complaining about them to our male friends the other 364 days. Today, I’m thinking about all the joy my wife has given me these past 26 years. It’s the little things mostly, like when she gently reminds me for the fourth time that I forgot to take out the trash, or her endearing habit of nagging me about my weight whenever I reach for a donut, or her playful quips about how she’d be living in a far nicer house if only she had married that other guy.

    I fondly recall that magical day when she and I walked down the aisle and both said, “I do.” I remember the vows we made to love, honor and cherish one another until one of us decides to kill the other. Admittedly, I was so lost in happiness that day that I may have forgotten a few details. Now, as I think back on our 26 years of wedded bliss, it seems that list of wedding vows must actually have been much more extensive. Here are some of the other vows I apparently made on that special day:

    My dearest darling, I promise you, for as long as we both shall live…

    …that I will respect you as my equal and never ask you to do a household chore that I would not be willing to do myself – with the addendum that I agree to killing all bugs like the icky spider in the bath tub, for that is a “man’s job” for which it’s perfectly reasonable to interrupt my Sunday afternoon nap even though you could have killed the damn bug simply by stepping on it with your shoe.

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    • I think you're the best husband ever, keep on agreeing with your wife and have fun killing those bugs and …
      Sarah Payne
  • Published On Feb. 12, 2014 by TEJ
  • Researchers unlock the key to a happy marriage: Husbands, let your wives do the housework!

    Don’t believe me? Then maybe you’ll believe a study which concluded that marriages where the women do all the housework while the men retreat to the parlor to smoke cigars, read the newspaper and discuss politics with other men in top hats are happier. Okay, so that study was based on focus groups of landed gentry horse farm owners in Greenwich, CT in 1879. But now a brand new study appears to validate those previous findings.

    A recently released study by Norwegian researchers reports that the divorce rate among couples who share the housework equally is 50% higher than those where the woman does most of the housework. “The more a man does in the home, the higher the divorce rate,” said Thomas Hansen, co-author of the study titled Equality in the Home.

    One conclusion emerges: Norwegian researchers apparently hate women. Another theory is that Norwegian men suck at doing chores. Still another theory is that lead researcher Thomas Hansen has a serious axe to grind over the fact his ex-wife, Ingebjørg, took him to the cleaners in their divorce. But that’s just my wife’s theory, and she’s never particularly cared for Norwegian men. (I’m talking to you, Sven Jorgensen.)

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  • Published On Nov. 01, 2012 by TEJ
  • Before you get romantically involved, don’t forget the Relationship Agreement

    A long time ago in a university far, far away, I attended law school and passed the bar exam. Which just goes to prove that an outstanding law school education is no guarantee your life will turn out the way your parents had hoped. But I digress. My point is that if there is one thing I learned from my legal training, it’s how to create oppressively one-sided legal agreements primarily designed to obfuscate.

    Therefore, as a public service to all five of my readers, I urge you, before you enter into a long-term romantic relationship like marriage or going steady with Morgan from your 11th grade biology class, to be sure you and your very special someone have signed a legally enforceable Relationship Agreement that clearly spells out what each of you agree to do – and not do.

    I am proud to say that when it comes to suing one’s spouse, America ranks #1. We’re the most litigious society in the world. The United States has as many lawyers as the next six countries combined. Where else can a woman sue a local television station for making an inaccurate weather prediction or a man can sue himself?

    My point is, if we’re not careful, we’re liable to get sued for the least little hit and run car accident I failed to report. (Wait, did I just think that or did I just type that?) Sometimes our fairy tale romances take a few unexpected turns and what starts out as Happily Ever After may later descend into the War of the Roses.

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    • My first time reading your posts and it certainly won't be my last. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks for the laugh. :)
      Simone
  • Published On Jul. 12, 2012 by TEJ
  • A letter to our wives: What we dads really want for Father’s Day this year

    From all of us loving husbands,

    Dear Sweetie, Honey, Darling, Angel, Punkin, Cutie Pie, Snuggle Bunny, Sweet Cakes, or in the case of Mrs. Eunice McCutchen of Big Butte, South Dakota, You Old Ball & Chain,

    We guys just wanted to take this opportunity to give you  ladies some helpful suggestions for what to get us this Father’s Day. It’s not too late to surprise us on our special day with something that would truly show us how much you love us.

    You want to know what we guys really want for Father’s Day? It’s very little. We just want to spend a day with our whole family, taking a leisurely hike in the woods, holding hands with our lovely wife, telling her how much we love her, and later on, snuggling together, taking a nice long nap on the couch.

    Ah, we’re just messing with you. That’s not even remotely close to what we want for Father’s Day – although the part about a long nap on the couch sounds good – so long as you leave us alone.

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    • Tim. Was out of town when this was published so just read it tonight. I have to ask, what were …
      Jim Hayden
  • Published On Jun. 14, 2012 by TEJ
  • The Worst Marriage Proposal Ever

    [Editor’s note:This week’s Guest Post was written by Travis Ross, an aspiring humor blogger who chooses to share his stories with the world rather than just a therapist.  In this post, Travis discusses how he dumped the woman who would become his wife via e-mail and two years later proposed to her out of the back of his car. He relives these special moments in his blog, and is reminded of his classlessness every Valentine’s Day and anniversary by his wife. Read more of Travis’ creative humor writing at The Simple Man’s Survival Guide.  – TEJ ]

    My wife and I have vacillated between Happy and If you say one more word I’ll *&$%#@! punch you in the throat for just over two years. I once heard a guy say, “Sometimes you hug each other to show affection and sometimes you hug each other as a way to get a better grip so you can take a better swing.” That’s us in a nutshell. It’s a functional marriage, and from what I can tell, we’re not terribly different from everyone else. However, the process leading up to marriage was quite the circus.

    I asked my wife out on our first date to a Chinese restaurant that was promptly shut down a few months later for violating health codes and employing about 20 illegal immigrants via text message. I know what you’re thinking: “You stay classy, Travis.” I don’t remember much of the conversation, but she likes to recount how about 10 minutes into it I started doing some kind of stupid trick where I wave my hands in front of my face. My 6-month-old daughter is not amused with that trick now and her mother wasn’t amused with it then. If you were watching it happen on a reality dating show, you would have winced and said, “He isn’t going to… Oh God…oooooo” and then promptly turned off the television because you couldn’t deal with the pain of watching.

    But the drinks took hold and, because of my restaurant choice and the poor magic trick, the date had nowhere to go but up and the relationship lasted a few more weeks. Eventually, because I didn’t feel comfortable dating a woman six years older than me, I sent her an e-mail breaking up with her because she was “too old” and I was also interested in someone closer to my age. Yes, I broke up with my wife via e-mail, and yes, I told her she was too old. Again, I know what you’re thinking: “You stay classy, Travis.” If I can contribute one thing to the “Man’s Guide to Relationships,” it’s this: If you think there’s a cold chance in Hell that you will ever ask a woman out again, run into her in a dark alley or find yourself alone in an elevator with her, I strongly advise against ending a relationship on those grounds via e-mail. Tell her anything else. Tell her you’re bipolar, being transferred to China, have Typhoid or all three. I figured the worst-case scenario was that we had a few more classes together, a few awkward conversations and that would be the end of it. In retrospect, we got along really well, much better than the ex-boyfriend she literally tried to run over in her driveway.

    I wound up getting a job in St. Louis. Tori wrote a fantastic blog about her dating life that I continued to read and comment on, because it was so damned funny. The best story is when she got roped into a date with a midget, but that’s neither here nor there. She would occasionally note how she hated her job. I suggested that I was working for a great company in the St. Louis area and that she should apply for one of the open positions. She applied, got the job and started working a brisk two-minute walk from my desk.

    Not long after she started working we started hanging out, which grew into a relationship. Eventually, things were going well enough that I threw caution to the wind and bought a ring. The day after getting the ring, I pulled one of her work friends out to the car and had her take a look at it to see what she thought. She squeaked with glee and started twitching like a weasel on speed. I said, “Erin, this is very important. You can’t tell Tori. Whatever you do, you can’t tell Tori.” I added emphasis on the second “You can’t tell Tori” to hammer the point home with Shakes McGillicutty. She asked when I planned on proposing and I told her I was working on that, but it would be some time around Valentine’s Day. I threw the ring box back in the trunk of my car, we walked back into the building and Erin skipped her way back to her desk, right next to Tori’s, brimming with excitement.

    Not five minutes after Erin got back, Tori asked her a question about work to which Erin promptly responded, “You know Travis doesn’t want to get married, right?” Tori’s happy face comes with an expiration date, and once you pull the pin on the grenade, her anger has a blast radius that, if it goes off in the center of the contiguous 48 states will rattle the teeth of people in Australia. I don’t know how the rest of her work day went or how many people were killed because she didn’t say anything to me on her way out the door, but I definitely felt her wrath later.

    I was scheduled to look at a house that night and Tori said she would go with me. I pulled up in front of her apartment and she walked out, looking angry as Hell. She usually gave me a chance to talk before she got pissed off, but not this time. No sooner than she got in the car her guns were drawn. She teared up and started talking about how Erin told her that I didn’t want to get married and started carrying on about how I was wasting her time. For a proper frame of reference, it’s about one week from Valentine’s Day and I still have this ring in the back of my car. By the time we get to the house I’ve made countless wrong turns, each one marked with “YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO GO THAT WAY YOU *^$%#& MORON YOU DON’T WANT TO GET MARRIED ERIN SAID SO I HATE YOU!!!!!” By this time, I’ve got a thousand different things rolling through my mind: How the *&%$ do I get to this house? Is cyanide traceable and will Erin smell it when I put it in her drink? Is this what marriage is like? And if it is, why don’t more men kill themselves? What will happen on Lost tonight? After what felt the same amount of time it took Odysseus to get to Troy or the government to solve the debt problem, we finally got to the house. I opened the car door and sucked in the sweet air of freedom. I decided then and there that I didn’t want to listen to this crap for another week, popped open the trunk, grabbed the box, poked my head around the trunk and, with her stomping in my direction, said “Marry me.” She shut up and turned white.

    For the next hour I enjoyed the soothing tones of our realtor while Tori didn’t say a word. We eventually bought the house and got married in Las Vegas and had the world’s most beautiful baby. The only downside is that every argument eventually ends in her saying, “Oh yeah, well you dumped me by e-mail,” after which point I generally just shut my mouth and walk away. Everything has worked out well, we just took the long way.

    - Travis Ross, The Simple Man’s Survival Guide


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  • Published On Sep. 23, 2009 by TEJ